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30 Awesome Activities for Volunteering and College Scholarships
Volunteering and college scholarships go hand-in-hand, but many students are stumped when it comes to finding community service activities. Read this list and find ideas that will benefit others and help win money for school.
[Updated for 2021]
A LOT! Many organizations that offer scholarship money want to know what students are doing to help out their local communities. There are a TON of scholarships for volunteering available to both high school and college students.
It is important to note: Not only do the organizations want to know WHAT students are doing, but they also want to know HOW MANY HOURS students have volunteered all through high school and in college.
To the scholarship searching student, this means two very important things:
- Volunteer much as possible
- Keep careful and detailed track of each volunteer hour
I’ve written several articles on how volunteering and college scholarships go hand-in-hand, but today I’d like to give teens ideas about WHERE to volunteer. Feel free to share these community service ideas for college students and high school students
Here are 30 awesome activities for volunteering and college scholarships:
(Stuck at home? Scroll down to find a complete list of community service ideas to do from home.)
Places of worship
- Church cleaning
- Vacation Bible School
- Teach or assist in religious education classes
- Weekly children’s church activities
- Raking leaves and grounds maintenance
- Help with fundraisers, choir membership
- Church organized youth sports teams
- Help create and maintain websites/social media accounts
- Hold a bake-sale
- Offer to wash windows or mow lawns
- Have a car wash
- Help care for homeless pets at shelters
- Assist in delivering food with Meals on Wheels
- Read to young children
- Hold a book drive
- Teach adults in computer/internet skills
- Start an after-school reading club
- Tutor young students where they need extra help
- Take senior citizens grocery shopping
- Help with yard work
- Shovel snow
- Offer to take out garbage cans and bring them back in each week on trash day
- Babysit or become a mother’s helper to a financially strapped family
- Check-out and deliver library books for those without transportation
- Create a reading club for young children
- Walk dogs
- Participate in Adopt-A-Highway trash pick-up
- Start a newcomers club that welcomes students moving into the area
- Tutor before or after school
- Help a teacher grade papers
- Keep score/stats at sporting events
Become the founder of your own community service project in an area that interests YOU.
All three of my boys created their own volunteer projects, all with great success. In a nutshell, here are their projects:
Son #1 Collected medals from local runners and coaches to donate to a big children’s hospital. Physical therapists awarded the medals to kids in rehab.
Son #2 Convinced area restaurants to donate gift cards to our local community funded medical hospitality house. People with loved ones in the hospital need to eat too!
Son #3 Helped an inner-city FIRST Robotics team find sponsors to help fund much-needed robot parts and tools. This team’s improved robot came in 2nd place in their next competition!
For all three of their projects, I called our local paper and asked if they would like to do a story about their volunteer work. Much to my delight, all three of my sons’ projects were featured in the paper! People love to read about teens doing good, so don’t hesitate to let the press know what you or your teen is up to!
If you or your teen are unsure or hesitant about volunteering, volunteer as a family!
Read more on volunteering and college scholarships here: Make It a Volunteering Summer
Parents can play a big role in helping their students win college scholarships by encouraging them to volunteer and doing community service together.
Once students become familiar with giving their time and helping out others, they will become comfortable with volunteering on their own and make contacts with community leaders who will appreciate their good works. Also, these contacts are usually happy to write a letter of recommendation for college and scholarship applications.
Don’t miss: How to Get a Great Letter of Recommendation
Start now, no matter how old your student is, and teach them the importance of volunteering! Don’t forget how important it is to stay organized and keep track of each volunteer hour and contact made. Use the tips found here to develop good habits and establish a solid organizational plan.
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Do you have any ideas to add for volunteering and college scholarships?
How about specific scholarships for volunteering?
I’d love to increase this list, so feel free to share in the comments section below.
2020-2021 UPDATE: Volunteering opportunities have been severely restricted because of COVID-19 stay at home orders.
Use this list to find community service ideas while safe at home.
Thank you, Julia Byrd, Essay Coach, for granting me permission to share this great list!
Looking for more college scholarships? I highly recommend these books:
Monica Matthews is the author of How to Win College Scholarships. She helped her own son win over $100,000 in college scholarships and now shares her expertise with other parents and their students. She truly has “been there, done that” in regards to helping parents and students navigate the scholarship process.
Her method of helping students in finding college scholarships, writing unique and compelling scholarship essays, creating amazing scholarship application packets and more, have taught desperate parents to help their own students win thousands of scholarship dollars.
Monica’s scholarship tips have been featured on many prominent websites and she has been dubbed the “Go-To” expert on college scholarships.